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Administrative Histories of U.S. Civilian Agencies: Korean War


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Introduction: Administrative Histories of US Civilian Agencies: Korean War

Introduction: Administrative Histories of US Civilian Agencies: Korean War

During the Korean War, as in World War II, a Federal Defense History Program was established, generating a similar series of reports from the civilian control agencies. This collection consists of 178 titles from 21 agencies involved in administering the mobilization and managing the economy during this difficult time.

An undeclared war, an unpopular war is no less a burden than one in which the populace unites in common cause. Indeed, the problems of mobilization are magnified by the competition between military priorities and civilian needs. Given an economy at full capacity, as was the case during the Korean War, the management of resources, manpower, and the means of production becomes critical. It becomes even more complex when the nation at full capacity, fighting a distant war, must also build up its forces around the globe and fulfill its obligation to an open-ended arms race. These years demonstrated how considerations of national security were to become an integral part of almost every federal policy decision, and how, in most instances, policy was to be administered by civilian agencies with permanent status.

By collecting and filming these histories, Research Publications (now Primary Source Microfilm, an imprint of the Gale Group) has sought out and preserved an accumulation of archival reference materials of enormous importance to students of government administration, economics, political science, business, and commerce.

Military histories exist in great number, but a full-scale civilian mobilization and involvement is a relatively recent phenomenon which has never been accorded the importance it warrants, whether for an understanding of past history or as a model for further resources management.